For immediate release
February 7, 2023
Toronto: Today, Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council instructed city staff to investigate how the City of Toronto could implement new sources of revenue including a commercial parking levy. Toronto Environmental Alliance and TTCriders are pleased to see this step forward towards a potentially transformative funding tool for transit and climate action. This is a win for every one of the thousands of Toronto residents who took action online and in person by speaking up during City Budget hearings.
According to a 2021 City of Toronto report, a commercial parking levy could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year. As Toronto faces potential TTC service cuts and fare increases in this year’s budget, our leaders must act now to prevent further erosion of our transit system. Our transit system is critical not only for helping residents get where they need to go, but expansion and improvement of this system is critical to reaching Toronto's climate goals.
A commercial parking levy is a widely used funding tool used by many world-class cities in North America, including Montreal, Vancouver, New York, Chicago, and L.A. We hope to see Toronto joining these cities with its own parking levy, and we hope to see the Mayor and Council working with staff to design this tool in an equitable, feasible, responsible way.
“In order to meet the challenges of the climate emergency and the affordability crisis in this city, we urgently need better, more frequent, and more affordable transit for riders across the city. A commercial parking levy could bring a transformative amount of funding to public transit in Toronto. We applaud Mayor Tory and City Council for taking this and other funding tools seriously, and we look forward to seeing this report move forward.”
- Sarah Buchanan, Campaigns Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance
“Everyone benefits when Toronto has a strong public transit system. The TTC needs a resilient source of funding to protect against future service cuts, which will drive current and potential transit users away and reduce our ability to meet our climate goals. We applaud Mayor Tory and City Council for studying the feasibility of a levy on big malls and commercial parking lot landlords to fund climate and transit.”
- Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director, TTCriders